mercredi sept. 25, 2013

#OOW2013: Jump into the Cloud...

Today we went into the Cloud, with 3 major announcements delivered by Thomas Kurian: a full Database as a Service, a full Java as a Service and a full Infrastructure as a Service in Oracle Cloud, guaranteed, backup and operated by Oracle, depending on different level of services.

Database as a Service

You will be able to provision inside Oracle Cloud a full Oracle Database (12c or 11g) either in single node or in highly available RAC cluster. This Database will be accessible in full SQL*NET, with Root access. This service will be offer in 3 different models :

Basic Service: pre-configured, automatically installed Database Software, managed by you through Enterprise Manager Express.

Managed Service: Oracle Databases managed by Oracle, including :

  • Quarterly Patching and Upgrades with SLA
  • Automated Backup and Point-in-Time Recovery
  • Elastic Compute and Storage

Maximum Availability Service: Oracle manages an highly available Database, including:

  • Real Application Cluster (RAC)
  • Data Guard for Maximum Availability
  • More flexible upgrade schedule

Of course you will be able to move your Data or even you entire Database between your Enterprise Datacenter and Oracle Cloud by leveraging regular tools like SQL loader or Data Pump for example.

Java as a Service

In the same model as the Database as a Service, you will be able to deploy dedicated Weblogic cluster(s) on our Compute Service. Full WLST, JMX and Root access will be provided as well. The 3 different models of services will be the following:

Basic Service: pre-configured, automatically installed weblogic software, with a single node Weblogic Suite (12c or 11g), managed by you using Enterprise Manager.

Managed Service: Oracle manages one or more Weblogic domains in the same way as the Database as a Service's Managed Service.

Maximum Availability Service: Oracle Manage an Highly Available environment, with the following characteristics :

  • Weblogic cluster integrated with RAC
  • Automated Disaster Recovery and Failover
  • More flexible upgrade schedules
  • Additional staging environment

So now let's have a quick look at the constituents of our Infrastructure as a Service layer.

Infrastructure as a Service

Compute Service: will provide an elastic compute capacity in Oracle Cloud, based on 3 different type of requirements : Standard, Compute Intensive or Memory Intensive. The management will be based on REST API, and providing as well Root VM access. This Compute Service will provide network isolation and elastic IP addresses. And of course, it will be highly available.

Storage Service: will store and manage digital content. The management will be through Java and REST API (OpenStack Swift). It has been designed for performance, scalability and availability.

 All those new or enhanced services, are complementing all the Oracle Software as a Services already existing and adopted with success by many of our customers, like was shown in many testimonies during Thomas Key Notes. This provides a Platform for our partners who are leveraging our technologies to build their own services in Oracle Cloud. That's why we also created an Oracle Cloud Market Place, enabling the delivery of our partners applications, as well as their combination/integration tailor to your specific needs directly in Oracle Cloud.

Let's Jump into the Cloud....

lundi sept. 23, 2013

#OOW2013: All your Database in-memory for All your existing applications... on Big Memory Machines

Many announcements have been made today by Larry Ellison, during his opening of Oracle OpenWorld. To begin with, Americas Cup is still running, as Oracle won today's races.  I must admit that seeing those boats racing at such a speed and crossing each other at few meters was really impressive. On OpenWorld side, it was also very impressive. More people this year are attending the event : 60 000 ! And in terms of big numbers, we saw very impressive results of the new features and products that have been announced today by Larry: Database 12c in-memory option, M6-32 Big Memory Machine, M6-32 SuperCluster and Oracle Database Backup, Logging, Recovery Appliance (yes, I am not joking, that's its real product name !).

Database 12c in-memory option: both row and column in-memory formats for same data/table

This new option will benefit all your existing applications unchanged. We are leveraging the memory to store both formats at the same time. This enable us to drop all the indexes that are usually necessary to process queries, for a design target of x100 improvement on performance for real-time analytic. As you will see later, we can achieve even more, especially if we are running on an M6-32 Big Memory Machine. At the same time the goal was also to improve transactions x2 !

The nice thing of this option is that it will benefit to all your existing applications running on top of Oracle Database 12c: no change required.

On stage, Juan Loaiza, did a small demonstration of this new option on a 3 billions row database, representing wikipedia research query. On a regular database, without this option, after identifying (or guessing) the query that will most likely be used by users, you put in place appropriate indexes (from 10 to 20 indexes), then you can run you query with acceptable performance, in this case: 2005 Million Rows Scanned / Sec instead of  5 Million Rows Scanned / Sec. Not too bad... Now if we replace the indexes required by the new Column formats store in-memory, we achieved in this case: 7151 Million Rows Scanned / Sec ! Something people looking into Big Data, and real-time decisions, will surely have a look at it.

 The second announcement was a new processor, and a new system associated with it: the M6 chip and the M6-32 Big Memory Machine... available now !

M6-32 Big Memory Machine: Terabyte Scale Computing

This system is compatible with the previous generation of M5 chips, protecting existing investment, and can host as well the new M6 12x cores, 96 threads processor. All in this system is about Terabytes : up to 32 TB of memory, 3 Terabytes/sec of system bandwidth, 1.4 Terabytes/sec of memory bandwidth, 1 Terabyte per second of I/O bandwidth !

This new machine is also the compute node of the new M6-32 SuperCluster announced also today.

M6-32 SuperCluster: In-Memory Database & Application System

That's our fastest Database Machine, with big memory for Column store and integrated Exadata Storage ! Juan Loaiza did also the same demonstration of the wikipedia search on this system... but not with 3 billions rows, but 218 billions rows ! The result speaks by itself: 341 072 Million Rows Scanned / Sec !

With all those critical systems hosting such amount of Data, it is also very important to provide a powerful Database Backup and Restore Solution... And that's all the latest Appliance announced today is about.

Oracle Database Backup, Logging, Recovery Appliance

By just reading its name you get nearly all the capabilities this new appliance will provide to you. First, it is specialized to backup Oracle Database of ALL your systems running an Oracle Database (Engineered Systems, like the lastest M6-32 SuperCluster or Exadata, as well as your regular servers). Second, it also captures all your Database logs. So not only do you have a backup but also the deltas between now and your latest backup. This is allowing you to come back at the point you want when recovering your database.

It can even be coupled with our new Database Backup service on Oracle Public Cloud, for an extra secure copy.

With this new appliance you can now be confident in securing your Oracle Database data.

Building your future datacenter

Today, not only did we see the new Oracle Database 12c enabling to work on memory for all you application, we also saw the associated M6-32 server and associated Engineered Systems M6-32 SuperCluster to run the stack with Big Memory capacity... all being secured by Oracle Database backup, Logging, Recovery Appliance. All of those innovations contributing to build your Datacenter of the future, where all is engineered to work together at the factory.

dimanche sept. 22, 2013

GRTgaz new Information System on Oracle SuperCluster

This testimony from Mr Sébastien Flourac, Head of Strategy for GRTgaz IT, concluded the last week SPARC Showcase event. Mr Flourac highlighted why he selected an Oracle SuperCluster, Engineered Systems, over a more traditional build it yourself approach, that he also studied.

Due to EEC regulation, GRTgaz a subsidary of GDF-Suez, has to be externalized including of course all its applications and existing IT in less than 2 years. But, of course, the current platforms are shared with other GDF-Suez services, which means for GRT gaz, that they have to build entirely a new platform to migrate their existing application with the lowest associated risks. As a major part of the technologies supporting GRT gaz applications was running on Oracle Database and Oracle Weblogic, either on IBM AIX or SPARC Solaris, GRT gaz had a closer look on what Oracle has to propose to simplify Oracle software on Oracle Hardware, compatible with the existing GRT gaz environment. And it became obvious to Mr Flourac that Oracle SuperCluster was the best fit for his project and for the future for several reasons.

Simplicity and lower cost

With Oracle Engineered Systems, all the complexity and cost of traditional build it yourself solutions has been taken care of at Oracle Engineering level. All the configurations and setup have been defined and integrated at all levels (software, virtualization and hardware) to offer the best SLA (performance and availability). This was concurring to simplify its externalization project, and was also bringing additional benefits on the storage layer for the future.

It was the best financial scenario in their project context.

Lower risks

Not only does the SuperCluster offer the best SLA by design. It also provides a very important feature in this complex applications migration : a full compatibility to run existing Oracle software versions. This was very important for Mr Flourac to avoid in his project to do both : migrate and upgrade.
It is also providing :

  • an integrated stack of Oracle Software and Hardware
  • an upgrade process tested by Oracle
  • a better support of the entire stack

Build for the future

Oracle SuperCluster provides to GRT gaz a consolidated, homogeneous and extremely scalable platform, which not only enable this externalization project but also will be able to host the new business requests.

With this new platform in place, Mr Flourac already knows that in the next phases he will be able to leverage additional integrated and unique features that running Oracle Softwares on Oracle SuperCluster provides:

  • Exadata integration and acceleration for Oracle Database starting with 11gR2
  • Exalogic integration and acceleration for Oracle Weblogic starting with 10.3.4

Of course the SuperCluster is a key enabler, but such a project requires also a team to manage the migration, the transition and the run. This is done through the support of Oracle ACS (transition), Fujitsu (migration) and Euriware (run).

vendredi mai 17, 2013

Why OS matters: Solaris Users Group testimony

Wednesday evening, a month after the new SPARC servers T5 & M5 launch in Paris, the french Solaris users group, get together to get the latest from Oracle experts on SPARC T5 & M5, Oracle Virtual Network, as well as the new enhancements inside Solaris 11.1 for Oracle Database. They also came to share their projects experiences and lessons learn, leveraging Solaris features : René Garcia Vallina from PSA, did a deep dive on ZFS internal and best practices around SAP deployment and Bruno Philippe explained how he managed to consolidate 100 Solaris servers into 6 thanks to Solaris 11 specific features.

It was very interesting to see all the value that an operating system like Solaris can bring. As of today, operating systems are often deeply hidden in the bottom layers of the IT stack, and we tend to forget that this is a key layer to leverage all the hardware innovations (being new CPUs cores, SSD storage, large memory subsystems,....) and expose them to the applications layers (being Databases, Java application servers,...). Solaris is going even further than most operating systems, around performances (will get back to that point), observability (with DTrace), reliability (predictive self healing,...), and virtualization (Solaris ZFS, Solaris Zones & Solaris Network Virtualization, also known as project "crossbow").

All of those unique features are bringing even more values and benefits for IT management and operations in a time of cost optimization and efficiency. And during this event, this was something that we could get from all the presentations and exchanges.

Solaris and SPARC T5 & M5

As Eric Duminy explained in the introduction of his session on the new SPARC T5 & M5, we are looking into new paradigm of CPU design and associated systems. Following Moor's law, we are using transistors in completely new ways. This is no more a run for frequency, if you want to achieve performance gain, you need more. You need to bring application features directly at CPU and Operating System level. Looking at SPARC T5, we are talking about a 16 cores, 8 threads/core processor, with up to 8x sockets, 4 TB RAM, SPARC T5-8 server in only 8 rack units ! This mean also, 128 cores and 1024 threads, and even more for the M5-32, with up to 192 cores, 1536 threads, 32 TB RAM  ! That's why the operating system is a key piece that needs to be able to handle such systems efficiently : ability to scale to that level, ability to place the process threads and associated memory on the right cores to avoid context switch, ability to manage the memory to feed the cores at the right pace.... This is all what we have done inside Solaris, and even more with Solaris 11.1 to leverage all this new SPARC T5 & M5 servers, and get the results that we announced a month ago at the launch.

 Of course we don't stop there. To get the best out of the infrastructure, we are designing at CPU, system and Solaris level to optimize for the application, starting at the database level.This is what Karim Berrah covered in his session.

Solaris 11.1 unique optimizations for Oracle Database

Karim's explained first the reasoning behind the complete new virtual memory management of Solaris 11.1, something that benefits directly to Oracle Database for the PGA and SGA allocation. You will experience it directly at database startup (twice faster !). The new virtual memory system will also benefit to ALL your applications, just looking for example at the mmap() function which is now x45 faster (this is what is used for all the shared libraries). Beyond performances, optimizations have been made on security, audit, and management. For example, with the up coming new release of Oracle Database, you will be able to dynamically resize your SGA and also get greater visibility for the DBA in datapath performances thanks to a new DTrace table directly available inside the database: a tight integration between Oracle DB and Solaris unique features.

Alain Chereau one of our performance guru from EMEA Oracle Solution Center provided his foresight and expertise. He especially reminded that the performance is achieve when ALL the layers work well together, and that "your OS choice has an impact on the DB and reverse. Something to remember for your critical applications." Alain closed the session with a final advice on best use of SSD for Oracle DB and Solaris ZFS. In short, SSD are align on 4k block. For Oracle DB, starting with, redolog can write in 4k block. This needs to be specify at redolog creation on the record size setting. For Solaris, ZFS knows about SSD and directly adapt. That's the reason why putting ZFS secondary cache on SSD (readzilla) is a very good idea, and a way to avoid bad behavior introduced by new "blind" storage tiering when combined with ZFS. Just put SSD drives for ZFS secondary cache directly inside your T5 or M5 servers and you are done. This is an important topic, as even if a majority of customers are running Oracle Database on ASM on production to get the benefit of grid and Oracle RAC security and scalability, that maybe different for development environments. As a matter of fact, for development systems most customers are leveraging Solaris ZFS and its compression and infinite clone and snapshot functions.

This brings me to René's session on SAP on ZFS...

Lessons learn from deploying SAP on ZFS

Clearly one of the most technical session of this event. Congratulation to René for a very clear explanation on ZFS allocation mechanisms and algorithm policies. I will start by René's conclusion : "Don't follow your ISV (SAP in this case) recommendations blindly". In fact, PSA was experiencing performances degradation and constant I/O activity even with very few transactions on application side. This was due to the fact that SAP recommends to use the SAP Data filesystem at more than 90% ! A very bad idea when you put your data on a Copy-on-Write (COW) filesystem like ZFS... Where I always recommend to keep around 20% of free space to allow for the COW operations to take place ! That's of course the new rule for SAP deployment at PSA.

So if you already have ZFS deployed with this rule in place, you don't have to read further, just keep doing it and move directly to the next topic... otherwise you maybe facing currently some performance problems as well.  To identify which of your ZFS pools are facing this situation, René provided a nice dtrace command that will tell you :

# dtrace -qn 'fbt::zio_gang_tree_issue:entry { @[pid]=count();  }' -c 'sleep 60'

Then to solve the problem, you understand that you need to add free space to enable the COW operation (in one shot). The best way would be to add a vdev (for more details: Oracle Solaris ZFS: A Closer Look at Vdevs and Performance). You could also use a zfs replace with a bigger vdev, but that's not the best option in the long run. If you go through a whole modification cycle of the content of the pool, your zpool will "defragement" by itself. If you want to "defragment" the zfs pool immediatly, if you have a Database, you can do it through "alter table move" operations (special thank to Alain Chereau for the tip). For standard files, you need to copy them and rename them back, or best, do a zfs send | zfs receive to another free zpool and you are done.

From 100 Servers to 6 thanks to Solaris 11

Last but not least, we also had another deep dive session during this event, with live demo ! Thanks to Bruno Philippe, President of the French Solaris Users Group, who shared with us his project of consolidating 100 servers, going from Solaris 8 to Solaris 10 into 6 servers with minimal to no business impact allow ! Bruno achieved his project thanks to Solaris 11 unique new feature : Solaris network virtualization, combine with Solaris Zones P2V and V2V, and SPARC Hardware hypervisor (Oracle VM for SPARC, known also as "LDOM", or Logical Domain).

I invite you to visit Bruno's blog for more details : Link Aggregations and VLAN Configurations for your consolidation (Solaris 11 and Solaris Zone)

Awaiting his next entry explaining the detail of the V2V and P2V operations that he demonstrated to us live on his laptop through a Solaris 11 x86 VBOX image.

I hope to see you on the up coming Solaris and SPARC event to share your feedback and experience with us.

The up coming Paris events will take place on June 4th, for  Datacenter Virtualization, focus on storage and network, and July 4th for a special session on new SPARC servers and their business impact.

lundi oct. 01, 2012

#OOW 2012 : IaaS, Private Cloud, Multitenant Database, and X3H2M2

The title of this post is a summary of the 4 announcements made by Larry Ellison today, during the opening session of Oracle Open World 2012... To know what's behind X3H2M2, you will have to wait a little, as I will go in order, beginning with the IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service - announcement.

Oracle IaaS goes Public... and Private...

Starting in 2004 with Fusion development, Oracle Cloud was launch last year to provide not only SaaS Application, based on standard development, but also the underlying PaaS, required to build the specifics, and required interconnections between applications, in and outside of the Cloud. Still, to cover the end-to-end Cloud  Services spectrum, we had to provide an Infrastructure as a Service, leveraging our Servers, Storage, OS, and Virtualization Technologies, all "Engineered Together".

This Cloud Infrastructure, was already available for our customers to build rapidly their own Private Cloud either on SPARC/Solaris or x86/Linux... The second announcement made today bring that proposition a big step further : for cautious customers (like Banks, or sensible industries) who would like to benefits from the Cloud value of "as a Service", but don't want their Data out in the Cloud... We propose to them to operate the same systems, Exadata, Exalogic & SuperCluster, that are providing our Public Cloud Infrastructure, behind their firewall, in a Private Cloud model.

Oracle 12c Multitenant Database

This is also a major announcement made today, on what's coming with Oracle Database 12c : the ability to consolidate multiple databases with no extra additional  cost especially in terms of memory needed on the server node, which is often THE consolidation limiting factor. The principle could be compare to Solaris Zones, where, you will have a Database Container, who is "owning" the memory and Database background processes, and "Pluggable" Database in this Database Container. This particular feature is a strong compelling event to evaluate rapidly Oracle Database 12c once it will be available, as this is major step forward into true Database consolidation with Multitenancy on a shared (optimized) infrastructure.

X3H2M2, enabling the new Exadata X3 in-Memory Database

Here we are :  X3H2M2 stands for X3 (the new version of Exadata announced also today) Heuristic Hierarchical Mass Memory, providing the capability to keep most if not all the Data in the memory cache hierarchy. Of course, this is the major software enhancement of the new X3 Exadata machine, but as this is a software, our current customers would be able to benefit from it on their existing systems by upgrading to the new release. But that' not the only thing that we did with X3, at the same time we have upgraded everything :

  • the CPUs, adding more cores per server node (16 vs. 12, with the arrival of Intel E5 / Sandy Bridge),
  • the memory with 256GB memory as well per node,
  •  and the new Flash Fire card, bringing now up to 22 TB of Flash cache.

All of this 4TB of RAM + 22TB of Flash being use cleverly not only for read but also for write by the X3H2M2 algorithm... making a very big difference compare to traditional storage flash extension.

But what does those extra performances brings to you on an already very efficient system: double your performances compare to the fastest storage array on the market today (including flash) and divide you storage price x10 at the same time... Something to consider closely this days... Especially that we also announced the availability of a new Exadata X3-2 8th rack : a good starting point.

As you have seen a major opening for this year again with true innovation. But that was not the only thing that we saw today, as before Larry's talk, Fujitsu did introduce more in deep the up coming new SPARC processor, that they are co-developing with us. And as such Andrew Mendelsohn - Senior Vice President Database Server Technologies came on stage to explain that the next step after I/O optimization for Database with Exadata, was to accelerate the Database at execution level by bringing functions in the SPARC processor silicium. All in all, to process more and more Data... The big theme of the day... and of the Oracle User Groups Conferences that were also happening today and where I had the opportunity to attend some interesting sessions on practical use cases of Big Data one in Finances and Fraud profiling and the other one on practical deployment of Oracle Exalytics for Data Analytics.

In conclusion, one picture to try to size Oracle Open World

... and you can understand why, with such a rich content... and this is only the first day !

vendredi sept. 30, 2011

Oracle Open World - Hands-on Lab : Configuring ASM and ACFS on Solaris - Part 1

A quick introduction

I have been invited by Dominic Kay, Product Manager for Solaris Storage sub-systems, for an hands-on lab at OOW. For those of you who will assist at this session, next Monday, at 11:00am, in Marriott Marquis - Salon 5/6, here are the gory details to get you through this lab. For the others that won't have the opportunity to be there, we hope it will be usefull for you to set it up on your own environment. 

The reasoning behind this lab

I already posted on this blog many times, about ZFS, and all its benefits, including the deployment of Oracle Database. And Dominic found very valuable to develop the knowledge of ASM (and ACFS) deployment on Solaris, as you can look at ASM in a way, as the "ZFS" from a DBA perspective, with another interesting benefit : the ability to deploy an Oracle Database in a shared multi-nodes environment with Oracle RAC, which is what's is running on Solaris on Exadata and on this week's new Engineered System announced, SPARC Supercluster... Read more...

[Read More]

Eric Bezille


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